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Great Colorado Loop Trip Index

Below are my journal entries from my Great Colorado Loop backpacking trip June - August of 2011. In January I hiked from the official Waterton Canyon trailhead to Lenny's rest and back because that access would be closed later. Then in June I restarted at the alternate Indian Creek trailhead.


Date Day Starting Location Destination Miles Cumulative Miles Notes
03 Jan 2011 -1 Waterton Canyon Trailhead Waterton Canyon Trailhead 15.8 7.9 Hike from the official trailhead to Lenny's Rest and back.
10 Jun 0 Aurora, CO Aurora, CO 0 7.9 So much to do!
11 Jun 0 Aurora, CO Aurora, CO 0 7.9 Still so much to do!
12 Jun 1 Indian Creek TH Bear Creek 6.8 6.8 Gone Hiking!
13 Jun 2 Bear Creek Burn Area 12.1 18.9
14 Jun 3 Burn Area Buffalo Creek 15.5 34.4 Through the Burn to an awesome camp
15 Jun 4 Buffalo Creek Above Craig Creek 8.7 43.1 1st food cache
16 Jun 5 Above Craig Creek Another streamside camp 15.0 58.1 Georgia Pass looms
17 Jun 6 Another streamside camp Kenosha Pass 12.2 70.3 2nd food cache, 1st hitching
18 Jun 7 Kenosha Pass Jefferson Creek 6.0 76.3 Alana visits
19 Jun 8 Jefferson Creek 11,200ft camp 9.4 85.7 Lingering Snowpack
20 Jun 9 11,200ft camp Road Crossing at North Fork 4.3 90.0 trudge out in rain
21 Jun 10 Breckenridge Breckenridge 0.0 0.0 Zero Day
22 Jun 11 Breckenridge Breckenridge 0.0 0.0 Zero Day
23 Jun 12 Road Crossing at North Fork CT Section 7, milepoint .5 13.7 103.7 The adventure continues
24 Jun 13 CT Section 7, milepoint .5 Miner's Creek Tributary 5.5 109.2
25 Jun 14 Miner's Creek Tributary Copper Mtn 7.4 116.6 Incline Bar & Grill
26 Jun 15 Copper Mtn Unnamed Tarn, 11,960 ft 10.1 126.7 Searle Pass
27 Jun 16 Unnamed Tarn, 11,960 ft Tennessee Pass 13.7 140.4 Speedstick
28 Jun 17 Leadville Leadville 0.0 140.4 Zero day, planning day
29 Jun 18 Tennessee Pass Turquoise Lake 13.6 154.0 Lucky hitch!
30 Jun 19 Turquoise Lake Rock Creek 6.4 160.4 Hiding from the storm
1 Jul 20 Rock Creek South of Twin Lakes 18.7 179.1 Easy hiking!
2 Jul 21 South of Twin Lakes Chaffee Co Rd 390 9.4 188.5 More easy hiking with Peaches, Pebbles, and unnamed
3 Jul 22 Chaffee Co Rd 390 Pine Creek 6.5 195.0 Short day from Leadville
4 Jul 23 Pine Creek Silver Creek (11,000 ft Mt Yale) 14 209.0 Colorado Mountain Expeditions
5 Jul 24 Silver Creek (11,000 ft Mt Yale) Dry Creek (Mt. Princeton) 13.9 222.9 CME again
6 Jul 25 Dry Creek (Mt. Princeton) Rasberry Gulch Rd 10.8 233.7 Mt Princeton Hot Springs
7 Jul 26 Rasberry Gulch Rd Cree Creek 15.6 249.3 CME makes fish tacos!
8 Jul 27 Cree Creek US 50 .9 250.2 Salida resupply
9 Jul 28 Salida Salida 0 250.2 Beer Fest!
10 Jul 29 US 50 Green Creek Shelter 10.3 260.5 A night in a shelter!
11 Jul 30 Green Creek Shelter Tank Seven Creek 15.6 276.1
12 Jul 31 Tank Seven Creek Razor Creek 14.4 290.5 Cochetopa Hills
13 Jul 32 Razor Creek Gate on Cochetopa Pass Rd 16.2 306.7 Apple's Trail Magic Tent
14 Jul 33 Gate on Cochetopa Pass Rd La Garita Wilderness Boundary 18.1 324.8
15 Jul 34 La Garita Wilderness Boundary Bondholders Meadow 13.7 338.5
16 Jul 35 Bondholders Meadow Willow Creek on Snow Mesa 11.0 349.5 Hiding from thunderstorms
17 Jul 36 Willow Creek on Snow Mesa Colorado Trail Memorial Yurt 13.8 363.3 Yurt!
18 Jul 37 Colorado Trail Memorial Yurt Unnamed lake next to Cataract Lake, 12,000 ft 14.2 377.5 More rain
19 Jul 38 Unnamed lake next to Cataract Lake, 12,000 ft SE slope of Canby Mtn 9.1 386.6 More rain
20 Jul 39 SE slope of Canby Mtn Bridge over Animas River 16.3 402.9 Elk Creek
21 Jul 40 Bridge over Animas River US 550 / Molas Pass 5.0 407.9 Whoo! Silverton
22 Jul 41 Silverton Silverton 0.0 407.9 Silverton resupply
23 Jul 42 US 550 / Molas Pass CT Segment 25, mile 8 8.0 415.9 Heading to Durango
24 Jul 43 CT Segment 25, mile 8 CT Segment 26, mile 10 22.9 438.8 Biggest Day Yet
25 Jul 44 CT Segment 26, mile 10 Scenic Overlook 13.2 452.0 Worst rain yet
26 Jul 45 Scenic Overlook CT Segment 28, mile 8 16.3 468.3
27 Jul 46 CT Segment 28, mile 8 Junction Creek Trailhead and end of the CT 13.5 481.8 End of the Colorado Trail and thruhiker dinner!
28 Jul 47 Durango Durango 0.0 481.8 Resupply
29 Jul 48 Durango Durango 0.0 481.8 Planning
30 Jul 49 Kennebec Trailhead Taylor Lake 1.4 483.2 Not a great start back to Denver
31 Jul 50 Taylor Lake Priest Gulch Trail 20.6 503.8 Down, down, down to the Dolores River
1 Aug 51 Priest Gulch Trail Anchor Mtn - Calico Mtn Saddle 8.8 512.6 Awesome views!
2 Aug 52 Anchor Mtn - Calico Mtn Saddle Slate Creek 13.3 525.9 Below treeline again
3 Aug 53 Slate Creek Sunshine Mesa Rd 13.0 538.9
4 Aug 54 Sunshine Mesa Rd Telluride 12.0 550.9 Couchsurfing Telluride!
5 Aug 55 Telluride Telluride 0.0 550.9 Resupply and planning
6 Aug 56 Telluride Eider Creek 4.5 555.4 Just a few hours hiking
7 Aug 57 Eider Creek Somewhere on Alder Cr Trail 13.0 568.4 Is our hero trailess?
8 Aug 58 Somewhere on Alder Cr Trail Wilson Creek 14.25 582.65 PITA Trail
9 Aug 59 Wilson Creek Ouray 16.3 598.95 Good miles into town. Will I stay an extra day?
10 Aug 60 Ouray Ouray 0.0 598.95 You bet I'll stay!
11 Aug 61 Ouray Bear Creek National Recreation Trail 3.0 601.5 I suck at getting out of towns.
12 Aug 62 Bear Creek National Recreation Trail Matterhorn Cutoff Trail 14.5 616.0
13 Aug 63 Matterhorn Cutoff Trail Somewhere on the Big Blue Trail 14.25 630.25 Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre
14 Aug 64 Somewhere on the Big Blue Trail Little Blue Creek Stealth Camp 23.5 653.75 Long roadwalk begins
15 Aug 65 Little Blue Creek Stealth Camp Ferro's Trading Post 12.75 666.50 Roadwalk continues...
16 Aug 66 Ferro's Trading Post Rock Spring 10.3 676.8 Roadwalk ends!
17 Aug 67 Rock Spring East Soap Creek Tributary 12.0 688.8 Bonfisk Mountain
18 Aug 68 East Soap Creek Tributary Horse Ranch Park 16.25 705.05 Beckwith Pass
19 Aug 69 Horse Ranch Park North Anthracite Creek 9.0 714.05 F*CK!
20 Aug 70 North Anthracite Creek Marble 8.0 722.05 Chilidog, chili, PBR, and Rolling Rock. Now this is life on the trail.
21 Aug 71 Marble North Fork Lost Trail Creek Trail @ the North Fork 4.0 726.05
22 Aug 72 North Fork Lost Trail Creek Trail @ the North Fork Snowmass Falls Ranch 13.0 739.05
23 Aug 73 Snowmass Falls Ranch Snowmass 7.7 746.75 That's all for this year. Bus to Aspen and Bus to Glenwood Springs
Epilogue Aurora, CO Aurora, CO 746.75 Thoughts on the GCL


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Activities discussed on this site are often dangerous and ill advised.
You can do everything right and still die or be seriously injured. Such is the nature of adventurous pastimes.
The people affiliated with this site make no claims regarding the safety or veracity of information.
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gcl-journal-index.php last modified on 04 September 2011 21:41:30 MST